Scientific American presents Savvy Psychologist by Quick & Dirty TipsScientific American and Quick & Dirty Tips are both Macmillan companies.

As a culture, we’re fascinated by narcissists and psychopaths, two of the more dramatic disordered personalities.  But what about the most common personality disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, or OCPD?

Affecting 3-8% of the population, OCPD often gets overlooked because it’s not dramatic. In fact, with its focus on order, perfection, and control, it’s straightlaced to the extreme.  Folks with OCPD seem to have everything under control, which is actually the problem.  This week, by request from listener Amanda Myers from St. Louis, here are 8 traits of OCPD.

But before we get into the details of OCPD (and focus on details, we’ll see, is the defining feature), let’s do a quick primer on personality disorders in general.  Last week, we learned that narcissists really do think they’re all that and genuinely expect red carpet treatment. In episode #26, we learned that psychopaths really do only care about themselves.  

Likewise, in OCPD, the individual feels his or her perfectionism is necessary and good.  In short, the personality disordered person’s pattern and worldview are ingrained, so all seems good and right from their point of view.


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